By Emma Young
Project Mend-A-House’s 2018 Art, Wine, and All That Jazz fundraiser brought out celebrities, community leaders, politicians, artists, board members and volunteers to an evening filled with moving jazz performances, art displays, and recognition of Project Mend-A-House’s critical work.
Guests began the star-studded evening mingling at Lorton’s Workhouse Arts Center, enjoying an extravaganza of hand-prepared hors d’oeuvres, and viewing lush artworks; Cheryl VanderMolen Neway’s batiks, John Joseph Holohan’s “Cerebral Palsy Art,” and Cheryl Wilson’s “abstract, intuitive paintings.” Musical performances started on a high-note as actress, singer and entertainer Rebecca Holden, familiar from key roles on TV’s Knight Rider and General Hospital, sang her new chart-topping recording, “Dreams Come True,” based on Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major.” Guests sang, danced, and clapped along as Master Sergeant Caleb B. Green, a soloist with the U.S. Army Band, continued the lyrical enjoyment, performing modern and soulful hits, and jazz saxophonist Tony Craddock, Jr. inspired with uplifting songs from his new album, “H2O.”
Success comes not in the celebrities, community leaders and noted guests who attended, not in the savories and sweets, not in the unique silent auction items won or the expressive jazz performances, but in the people helped by Project Mend-A-House’s vital community role. “Dreams really do come true at Project Mend-A-House,” said Holden, playing off the title to her hit song. NOVEC President and CEO Stanley Feuerberg, who received the Man of Vision Award at the event, noted, “NOVEC, like Project Mend-A-House, invests in our communities.”
“Project Mend-A-House is the only organization of its kind in Prince William County. Other counties look at us as a model to implement. We do not build homes, we help residents live safely and independently in their current home,” explained M. A. Sargo, Project Mend-A-House Board Chair. For example, a disabled veteran with no ramp allowing accessibility through his front door is provided a ramp and door-widening measures through Project Mend-A-House material donations and expert volunteer labor. “We have been in existence for over 32 years making homes safe and accessible. Since 2015 alone our volunteers have put in over 7000 hours of service and helped 345 low income families in the county,” Sargo noted.
“We are all here tonight serving,” said Master Sergeant Green. “Thank God for your heart and compassion. It is all about love.”
For more information about Project Mend-A-House, visit PMAHweb.org
Emma Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Contributing Writer for Prince William Living.